Can men experience sexual discrimination in the workplace?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Sex Discrimination |

While sexism against women in the workplace is common, it is important to understand that men sometimes experience sexual discrimination, too.

Men who feel their employers or coworkers are violating their rights may feel embarrassed to come forward with their complaints. However, the law does protect men facing such situations.

Understanding sexual discrimination against men

Sexual discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of sex or gender. Men can experience this discrimination in some of the following ways:

  • Biased hiring practices
  • Unfair treatment in promotions
  • Inappropriate comments
  • Sexual harassment

For example, a boss may pass over a male employee for a promotion in favor of a less qualified female colleague. In other cases, men may face unwanted advances or comments from coworkers or supervisors, creating a hostile work environment.

Legal protections for men

The law protects all employees from sexual discrimination, regardless of sex. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin or religion. This federal law applies to both men and women. Besides federal law, Indiana also has state laws against sexual discrimination.

Recourse for sexual discrimination

Employees who experience sexual discrimination should take steps to address the issue. Reporting the discrimination to a supervisor or human resources department is often the first step. Many companies have policies and procedures to handle discrimination complaints and to investigate and resolve these issues. However, if employers do not take the situation seriously because they do not believe men can experience discrimination, employees can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Raising awareness about the potential for all types of discrimination is necessary to create a fair and inclusive workplace. Employers should provide training and resources to all employees, emphasizing that discrimination based on sex is unacceptable and illegal, even when it targets males. By fostering a culture of respect and equality, workplaces can ensure that all employees, regardless of sex or gender, feel valued and protected.


FindLaw Network